FoxNews: Obama blames GOP Congress for slowing economy, Romney fires back
Facing a slew of economic bad news, President Obama said Friday the private sector is doing just fine but blamed Republicans for not helping out-of-work teachers and other public-sector employees – an analysis pounced on by GOP leaders.
“The private sector is doing fine,” the president said during a White House press conference. “Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. … If Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is how do we help state and local governments.”
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney responded within minutes from a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
“He said the private sector is doing fine,” Romney said. “Is he really that out of touch? I think he’s defining what it means to be detached and out of touch with the American people. Has there ever been an American president who is so far from reality as to believe in an America where 23 million Americans are out of work.”
Obama also said economic recipes being promoted by Republicans are “basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to — to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief in the housing market, and would result, I think most economists estimate, in lower growth and fewer jobs, not more.”
The president’s statements mark at least the second time he has turned the focus on Congress since a Labor Department report released a week ago showed the U.S. jobless rate increased in May from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent, amid a string of recent downbeat economic reports.
“The president must be on another planet,” Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News. “You saw job figures last Friday, completely disconnected from reality.”
The president later in the day attempted to clarify his comments, saying it is “absolutely clear” that the U.S. economy is “not doing fine.” He said he knows the economy “needs to be strengthened.” Obama added that while there has been some “good momentum” in the private sector, Congress needs to act to help boost jobs in the public sector. He says there is no good reason why Congress won’t act on his public sector proposals “other than politics.”
In the press conference, Obama also thanked Congress for passing the payroll tax cuts in his proposal but urged them to reconsider tax breaks to small businesses that hire and his plan to help homeowners take advantage or historically low mortgage rates….Read More
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